June 5, 2003
Triclops by Is/Complete is a port of the original shockwave puzzle game. The game is simple to learn, but difficult to master. With numerous levels and a short time limit, every game is different than the one before.
Unlike most of today's puzzle games, Triclops features unique game play. The board is composed of falling triangles, which appear in a seemingly random order, and the goal is to get rid of the blocks. When three or more triangles of the same color are touching each other, they may be removed from the playing board. To assist in removing pieces, you may shuffle the pieces by rotating the board. The larger the group is, the more points there will be, with an additional bonus for any group making a perfect hexagon. To make the game more difficult on harder levels, additional types of blocks are introduced. Instead of just the three initial colors, a fourth color is introduced in addition to bombs, wild cards, and changing blocks. Every level is on a time limit, and if the pieces reach the top of the board before time runs out, your game will be over.
† Once you know the basic rules, the game becomes very easy to play. But although it is very simple to learn, every game is different. Since there are an infinite number of possibilities, each game is unique, making it difficult to get tired of playing. Unfortunately though, there are only three forms of game play, and with the only objective being to achieve a high score, it becomes quite easy. Although with the three gamr play options you also have three different games to master. †
One nice thing about your PDA is that it can be customized to fit your style, and the same should apply to programs. Most games will contain a control panel of sorts, and Triclops is no exception. Of the options, however, there aren't very many aspects to control. Of the choices, there are only three options to control: game play, sound, and screen depth. The decision is obviously something which much be decided at the beginning of each game, and consists of three choices. The ability to choose color depth is also nice, although it isn't very often that you would use a color palm to play a game in black and white. The additional sound option doesnít do much either: it is either on or off. There is, however, one minor nuisance with the sound. Instead of acting independently of your system preferences, the game ties right in. Unfortunately, this means that those who prefer their Palm to be seen and not heard will have to toggle the sound before they play and turn it off when they are done. This method has both advantages, and disadvantages, depending on your sound preferences. Although, once enabled, the sound effects are excellent. They are subtle enough that they are not distracting, yet they also enhance the game.
Although game play is a crucial aspect in any game, the graphics can often play an important role. For Triclops, the graphics might not be the best we have seen, but they are better than they have to be. A simple game usually calls for simple graphics. Despite this fact, Is Complete created a game which satisfies the basics, but has a little style nonetheless.
When you first enter the game you are greeted with a standard splash screen followed by the main menu. We all know how this works: put up a title and slap on some buttons. Of course, in addition to that, there is the background, color, and graphics. Ultimately, the first two screens are fairly normal, although the use of color, images, and rounded buttons allows for a smoother first impression. The rest of the game tends to follow suit: a nice look which is neither boring nor too complicated. One nice aspect is the lack of detail in the triangle portion of the board. The pieces are all simple triangles without detail or a patterned background, and this allows for easier game play.
The black and white, and grayscale versions, are about the same. Without removing any background details, the different depths merely change the tiles. In the grayscale version, there are four different shades of grey, two of which can be difficult to distinguish between in low lighting. The black and white version is easier to distinguish. Rather than using colors, the bricks are categorized using simple patterns which give the illusion of shading. Although this is a useful way to distinguish between colors, it can also be distracting. Despite the fact monochrome devices are more difficult to play on than color units, the game is still quite playable on all types of devices
Triclops is a fun puzzle game which takes almost no time to learn, but provides hours of amusement. It provides all of the basics in a puzzle game, with the primary focus being the game play. Without providing much eye candy, Triclops manages to be a fun game for those who like action-based puzzle games.
RATING: 8 / 10
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